While a number of Vietnamese television channels are willing to pay a high fees for the broadcast rights of several international football leagues, few pay attention to the V-League. Insight by the news-in-English website dtinews.vn in an article published on February 21.

Last year, K+ Channel paid 35 million USD for the rights to broadcast the English Premiere League for three seasons, from 2013 to 2016. Even though other paid subscription channels said they would boycott K+ and the Premiere League because of the high price, carriers still eventually bought the packages. As a result, fans had to pay a high price to watch the match.

The broadcast rights for World Cup 2014 in Vietnam, distributed by the MP&Silva Group, is going for 10 million USD. Because this price is three times higher than the prices for World Cup 2010, VTV said they would not broadcast the event. However, many other channels are willing to pay. It remains unclear whether domestic broadcasters will be able to recoup their investment with advertisements, since they would need to earn over 3 billion VND for each match.

On the other hand, the broadcast rights for the V-League, the top professional football league in Vietnam, are sold for under 10 billion VND (477,000 USD). Some football clubs have said they do not care about copyright issues because the money paid them is nominal. "It is even lower than a player's monthly wage," said a club representative.

When the Vietnamese Super Cup was held, the organisers went so far as to waive media right fees.

Vu Quang Huy, deputy head of VTC Digital Television, said: "Both broadcasters and fans prefer foreign football leagues over domestic leagues. We need more investment into the domestic football scene to attract audiences. The V-League also needs some improvement to more aggressively promote their brand."

As usual, the Vietnam Professional Football JSC (VPF) plans to exchange broadcast rights for advertising slots. The revenue they gain by selling those slots to sponsors can be used for organising expenses, prizes and supporting individual clubs.

However, in this competitive environment, most channels are looking to limit the number of live matches, which could mean that VPF's revenue may fall under 10 billion VND. This would mean football clubs may not receive any funds for travelling between matches.-VNA